Once we hit October, whether you are prepared for it or not, the holiday season has started. What better way to usher in a season of indulgences than with Halloween? October kicks off the time when bite-sized candy bars begin appearing in the office and your kids get the excuse to dress up and gather loads of candy.
First, there is Halloween, then Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day — all sugary sweet holidays! With all the sweet treats that begin to make their entrance right about now, is there a candy that is actually better for your teeth? Join us in today’s post as we navigate the best and worst candy for your teeth!
The Best Types of Candy For Your Teeth
While sugar is sugar and is highly destructive to your enamel resulting in cavities, there is candy that is better for your teeth.
- Chocolate – Dark chocolate (70 percent and up) is the best option for your teeth, and may have beneficial compounds that support teeth health! Not only can it help harden tooth enamel, it has antibacterial properties that is better at fighting plaque. Overall, dark chocolate is a win with its high cocoa content and low sugar. Milk chocolate is still a better option than most candy, but it is high in sugar which causes tooth decay. Dentists love chocolate as a candy option because it will simply rinse away with water.
- Sugar-free alternatives – The sugar-free options available have come a long way from years past! We now have candy options that are sweetened with stevia and xylitol, and taste delicious. Sugar-free candy is not only beneficial to your teeth because it keeps the pH at a healthy level, but it is also a great option for those with type 2 diabetes.
- Candy with nuts – Candy with nuts may seem counterintuitive, but the larger nut pieces not only help break up a candy’s stickiness, but they can also scrub your teeth in the process!
The Worst Types of Candy For Your Teeth
Most candy can be harmful to your teeth, but below are the biggest cavity-causing candies!
- Candy that is sticky – Think of sticky candies that you have to mull and chew over and over (taffy), these are the sticky candies you want to avoid simply because they can get wedged into tiny little crevices and increase tooth decay.
- Suckers and lollipops – This type of candy may not make sense because you are not really chewing anything, but the problem arises with the exposure your teeth are subjected to. With other candy you chew and swallow it, with a sucker, there is a constant exposure to sugar which makes it very harmful.
- Sour gummies – These are some of the worst offenders because you get the combination sticky and sour. Sour is harmful because it makes your mouth environment more acidic which wears down enamel.
As the holidays approach, be sure to choose better candy options, brush and floss twice daily, and drink plenty of water to flush harmful bacteria.